Oil Skimmer Blog

Oil Skimmers Help Steel Mills Save Money | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 28, 2019 9:15:00 AM

There is likely no larger industrial meeting place for oil and water than a steel mill. Because of the massive amount of water that is needed for process cooling and descaling, and the similar quantity of hydraulic, lubricating, and cooling oils that are required in steel production, the adage that oil and water do not mix is put to the test and proven every day.

Oil contamination in steel mills process water

It can take between 10,000-75,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of steel, depending on the amount of recycled water that is used. Reusing water whenever possible is crucial to maintaining costs, and to be able to reuse water in the majority of steel mill processes it needs to be free of contamination, namely oil.

Tramp oils commonly contaminate steel mill process water and this can lead to a variety of problems. Water purity is obviously affected which means that the effectiveness of this water in its role as a coolant or lubricant is reduced. Additionally, water that is contaminated with oil cannot be discharged into a facility’s wastewater system, as this can potentially cause a hazard to the environment. Finally, the presence of some oils in water can provide an ideal media for bacteria growth that can present unsafe working conditions for workers. All of these factors contribute to a mill not being able to recycle water, which means increased production costs.

Abanaki Model 8 Oil Skimmer

What counter measures can be employed at a steel mill to limit or eliminate process water from becoming contaminated with oil? For one, the Abanaki Model 8 Belt Oil Skimmer is a dependable and effective means of removing oil from water and water-base solutions, such as those found in mills. Oil skimming makes use of the differences in specific gravity and surface tension between oil and water. These physical characteristics allow the belt skimmer to attract oil and other hydrocarbon liquids from the surface of the fluid.

Depending on the characteristics of the liquid, it is possible for the Model 8 to reduce oil content to less than five parts per million in water. It utilizes a continuous belt and wiper to remove up to 40 gallons of oil per hour from the fluid surface. The unit can be used as a pre-treatment before filtration, and in conjunction with coalescing systems. The versatility of the Model 8 allows it to be used in a wide array of applications in addition to steel mills, such as:

  • Wastewater sumps
  • Parts washers
  • Coolant systems
  • Heat treating fluids
  • Food processing plants
  • Parking lots, garages, and service facilities
  • Outdoor ponds, lakes, and basins
  • Underground tanks
  • Ships' bilges
  • Aircraft service areas and tarmac runoff
  • Truck, locomotive, and other mobile equipment washing facilities

Abanaki Model 8 Oil Skimmer Specifications

The Model 8 can be used in tanks with depths as shallow as one foot, or as deep as 100 feet, and is built to last. With the proper configuration it can handle liquid temperatures up to 212°F, and the pH of the fluid can range from 3 to 13. The skimmer drive includes an oil filled gear reducer with bronze gears and ball bearings. The motor, reducer, and powder coated finish of the housing give the Model 8 exceptionally long life, even under the harshest conditions.

For more information about the Model 8 or other Abanaki products, call your sales representative at (440) 543-7400, or simply click at the button below.

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Topics: oil belt skimmer, oil skimmers, belt skimmer, steel mill, steel mills, model 8

Belt Oil Skimmers: Belt Materials Importance? | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 25, 2019 1:15:14 PM


Oil skimming is the most economical, low-maintenance method for removing floating oil, grease, fuel and other hydrocarbons from water. As the oil skimmer belt or tube passes through water, the contaminants are attracted to the media and carried to wiper blades where the oil is removed. Oil skimming uses the differences in specific gravity and surface tension between oil and water to pick up oil, grease and other hydrocarbons. Oil Skimming can be used in a wide variety of applications and can keep your company in compliance with EPA regulations.

Purpose of Oil Skimmer Belts

Selecting the right belt material is just as important as selecting the right skimmer. You might choose the right skimmer but the wrong belt type and the skimmer will not work correctly to solve your oil in water problem. It is crucial that things like pH, temperature, and oil type are considered when selecting a skimmer AND a belt type.

A belt is to a skimmer like wheels to a car’s chassis: although the latter is the most identifiable part, it needs the former to actually run. Just like tires, belts are not one size fits all. Just as there are snow tires, street tires, year-round tires, and more, so too are there a variety of belt materials. So, what purpose does each serve?

Different Kind of Oil Skimmer Belt Materials

There is a great deal of variance in applications where belt oil skimmers are present. Figuring out what would be the best belt material for your belt skimmer will depend on a few factors. For the most part, belts pick up the oil in the same fashion so the big difference is finding what will give you the longest operating life.


Steel belts

Steel belts are the standard for many applications. Their durability, corrosion resistance, and strong oleophilic tendencies make the material effective in most scenarios. The lower price and ease of welding also reduce costs. The biggest caveat is their ineffectiveness when confronted with rust inhibitors in wash water. Steel belts are also ineffective in most applications where Petro-Xtractors are used.

Elastomer belts

Elastomer belts are an alternative to steel belts that perform well in a multitude of situations. These belts can handle some of the harshest, most abrasive conditions a skimmer can be placed in and are fully compatible with the Petro-Xtractor. Still, steel belts will not stretch when exposed to UV rays over a long period of time.

Polymer (Poly) Belts

Polymer belts, commonly shortened to poly belts, are meant for higher temperatures and conditions where UV exposure and rust inhibitors are an issue. The textured nature of the poly belts causes more oil than usual to be picked up. This option tends to be pricier, but works like a charm in intense functions.

Fuzzy Belts

This video demonstrates how choosing the right belt material makes all of the difference. The Fuzzy belt does a better job at picking up the hydrocarbon than the standard belt on the right. 

LFO belts, commonly referred to as Fuzzy belts, are a proprietary skimmer belt exclusive to Abanaki. This material specializes in the rapid removal of light, non-viscous hydrocarbons from water.  If your problem is an oil like gasoline, the Fuzzy belt will remove it much more efficiently than any other belt in normal conditions. The Fuzzy belts are also extremely resistant to stretching.

XP Polymer (Poly) Belts

XP polymer belts, commonly shortened to XP poly belts, are very similar to poly belts. The key difference comes in its texture and temperature resistance. The XP poly belt is better able to handle high temperatures, maxing out at 180ºF. The belt also has a smooth texture rather than the ridged design of the standard poly belt. Although this change means the XP poly belt will not pick up oil as quickly, the belt will function better than the standard poly belt in conditions that would wear away the ridged design.

More information can be found in the Abanaki Oil Skimmer Factbook or Abanaki Belt Selection Guidebook. It is best to call (440-543-7400) with details of the application and ask your Abanaki representative what will work best with your belt skimmer.

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Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, belt materials, belt oil skimmer

Abanaki Mighty-Mini Oil Skimmer Can Extend your Coolant Life and Save you Money

Posted by Tom Hobson on Feb 27, 2019 10:30:00 AM

Coolant skimmers typically don’t come attached to CNC machines when they are newly bought. This is because nobody wants to admit that the brand-new machine is eventually going to leak oil into the coolant. This looks good on paper, but there is a reason why so many coolant skimmers are bought annually. CNC machines are bound to have at least a small amount of oil leaking into the coolant at some point. The skimmer will remove this oil from the top of the coolant for disposal. Without some type of coolant skimmer, the coolant life will be dramatically decreased. These small coolant skimmers will save you money throughout the operational life of your CNC machine. 

Coolant skimmers can really help in extending the life of your costly coolant. Coolant skimmers help remove oils that leak from machines or parts to keep your coolant clean. By removing the oil with coolant skimmer, you can significantly increase the life of your coolant. 

So, is your product quality being affected by floating oil? Have you asked yourself how you remove oil from water effectively and efficiently?

One of the best coolant skimmers of Abanaki coolant maintenance line is Mighty Mini Oil Skimmer. It is a belt style skimmer that will remove the floating oil that is compromising your product quality, reducing your coolant life, and stinking up the shop. Putting an oil skimmer in your coolant tank will allow you to remove this oil from the top of your coolant 24 hours a day if needed or you can set the timer to turn on in 15-minute increments. A belt oil skimmer is easily maintained and the only consumables are the belt and wipers. We have been providing oil skimmers for years to machine shops and manufacturers across the globe and they have proven to be both reliable and cost-effective. The Mighty-Mini is a belt style coolant skimmer that is ideal for a wide variety of applications due to its stainless steel construction and its built in timer. This skimmer comes standard with a steel or Elastomer belt.


To find out more about Mighty-Mini Oil Skimmer, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400, or click the button below to get your Mighty-Mini Brochure.

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Topics: oil belt skimmer, oil skimmers, belt skimmer, mighty mini

Oil Skimming Deathmatch: Belt Skimmer vs. Tube Skimmer

Posted by Tom Hobson on Feb 25, 2019 9:54:42 AM

It’s the age old question; which is better? The belt skimmer or the tube skimmer for collecting floating surface oils from various applications? Some feel that belt skimmers work better because it takes up less space while still collecting oil from large surface areas. Other people feel that the tube skimmer works better because the tube covers more of the tank or pit’s surface. The fact is that both skimmers use the same principle of breaking the surface tension of the water to allow the oil to adhere to either the belt or the tube.

There are a lot of belt and tube oil skimmers out there, but how do you figure out which one will work best for your specific application? There are two things that should be looked at immediately. First, how many gallons per hour of oil are you looking to remove? Every skimmer model is rated for the gallons per hour that can be removed. The next thing to look at would be the dimensions of your tank. The different sizes of skimmers will be able to pull in oil from different distances. Even if you have a fairly low amount of oil, a smaller skimmer may not work if the surface area is too large.

You can make your own decision which is best by visiting www.abanaki.com . There is a full line of belt skimmers and tube skimmers to compare. Or, the best way to match up a proper skimmer to your exact application is to call your Abanaki sales representative @440-543-7400.


There is a skimming system for virtually any application.Fill out the form, and you will have immediate access to this guide.

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Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil viper, tote-it, tube skimmer

Oil Skimmers Enable Mines to Reuse Wash Water in Wash Bays

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jan 29, 2019 10:10:42 AM


Abanaki oil skimmers have been at work in mines around the world for decades. Typically located in remote areas, wastewater treatment facilities are often not available, so water must be reused onsite. Oil skimming cost-effectively removes oil from wash bays so that the water can either evaporate or can be reused.

When washing large equipment, diesel, oil, and grease, along with mud and debris get rinsed into a sump. Abanaki has three solutions that can be used in this situation: the Oil Grabber Model 4, Portable Tote-It, and the Oil Viper tube skimmer.

The Oil Grabber Model 4 is the most commonly used solution at mines. Its heavy-duty construction withstands the harsh environment inherent to the industry. Specially designed belts can collect all of the oil products present in the wash bay, and coupled with the optional Oil Concentrator, they effectively remove the oil without picking up much water.

The Portable Tote-It works well in smaller wash bays or in other parts of the mine where water and oil are present. As with the rest of Abanaki’s product line, it is available in stainless steel, which resists the strong chemicals that can be present at a mine. Two sizes are available based on belt width: 2″ and 4″.

Abanaki’s Oil Viper tube skimmer has a small footprint, but large recovery rate. The tube “snakes” around the pit and can collect oils and greases with ease. It works very well in shallow sumps or confined spaces.

Oil skimming can reduce the amount of labor needed to keep wash bays clean by mechanically removing the oil. Unlike socks or hand-held skimmers, Abanaki’s equipment is able to run continuously or on a timer to eliminate the need for manual labor. Wash bays are typically small and located near the mining pit and would not merit a large, expensive water filtration system. Oil skimmers are an economical way to remove the oil.

To find out which of our skimmers would suit your application the best, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400, or click the button below to get our Webinar: How to Successfully Implement Oil Skimmers

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Topics: oil skimmers, oil viper, model 4, tote-it, industrial Wastewater treatment, mines

Removing Grease from Steel Manufacturing Wastewater: Oil Skimmer is Lowest-Cost Method

Posted by Tom Hobson on Dec 7, 2018 1:30:00 PM

Abanaki offers industrial wastewater skimmers specially designed for steel mills where plant maintenance engineers are looking for the lowest cost, most reliable method of removing greases and heavy oils from the steel-mill scale pit. Abanaki oil skimmers use the difference in specific gravity and surface tension between grease and water, allowing the belt to attract grease and oil as the belt passes through the surface of the water. The simple belt-and-motor approach is proven to operate unattended and reliably for decades with little maintenance.

To avoid fines from government and municipal sewer districts, steel mills must limit the amount of grease in wastewater discharged into the environment. The Grease Grabber® oil and grease skimmer provides a continuously operating belt and wiper that can remove up to 160 gallons per hour of heavy greases and oils. Depending on the characteristics of the liquid, the oil/grease skimmer is capable of reducing grease content to fewer than five parts-per-million in water. Reclaimed grease and oil can be re-used or used as furnace fuel, avoiding sucker truck disposal costs.

Using a double drive roller and tail pulley system, the grease skimmer belt runs through wastewater to pick up grease and heavy oil from the surface. The belt travels over the head pulley and then passes through tandem wiper blades, from which oil is scraped off both sides and discharged. A heated hopper keeps grease flowing in cold outdoor temperatures.

The tail pulley features flanges that allow the pulley to roll freely on the inside of the belt without becoming dislodged in turbulent applications. No bearings are needed; the unit does not need to be fastened to the tank. An optional tether and cage assembly is offered to prevent the tail pulley from being dislodged. The Grease Grabber oil skimmer can be used in pits with depths as shallow as one foot or as deep as 100 feet.

To find out which of our skimmers would suit your application the best, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400, or click the button below to get more information about Grease Grabber.

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Topics: oil skimmers, grease grabber, Benefits of oil skimmer

Industrial Wastewater Treatment: Abanaki Model 4 Provides The Best Solution

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 25, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Our belt oil skimmers are used in industrial wastewater treatment applications quite frequently. An international manufacturer in the power transmission industry has been using our Model 4 belt oil skimmer as part of its manufacturing process for more than 2 years . The facility utilizes a poly belt on the Model 4 that is used in the parts washer, and it runs at roughly 140°F. The skimmer runs 8 hours a day and efficiently skims the oil out of the parts washer and helps to eliminate the company’s disposal costs. After more than 2 years of consecutive operation, the plant operators are just now replacing the poly belt and wiper blades.

There are many reasons why so many facilities use the Model 4 oil skimmer as part of their industrial wastewater treatment. The Model 4 oil skimmer is designed to last for many years. With the proper configuration it can handle liquid temperatures up to 212°F, and the pH of the fluid can range from 3 to 13. Belts are specifically selected for your application (see Belt Selection page). The skimmer drive includes an oil filled gear reducer with bronze gears and ball bearings. The motor, reducer, and powder coated finish of the weldments give the Model 4 exceptionally long life, even under the harshest conditions.

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Topics: oil skimmers, model 4, belt oil skimmers, industrial Wastewater treatment

Having tough time in your coolant tank? 6 names you should remember!!!

Posted by Tom Hobson on Dec 19, 2016 10:53:23 AM

1. Oil Boss

Abanaki's Oil Boss is an innovative tool for keeping coolant free of oil. The patent-pending design allows for easy visual inspection of your coolant’s condition; and will also help extend tool and coolant life. It will decrease loss of production and maintenance time. And it will allow for easy cleaning of various sumps or tanks around any plant or shop due to its portability and magnetic base. The Oil Boss has a small footprint that reduces the amount of clutter and equipment on the shop floor.

2. Mighty Disk

Mighty Disk is the inexpensive way to remove unwanted tramp oils from coolants and parts washers, but with all the quality that you expect from Abanaki! Removes up to 1 ½ gallons of oil or more of medium weight oil per hour. Use it almost anywhere a flat surface is available for mounting. Weighs less than 10 pounds, installs in no time, and runs on 110v power.

3. TubeTastic

The Abanaki TubeTastic! oil skimmer can be used on machining centers with little or no access to the coolant sump from above. This unit can skim oil from chip conveyors or even totally enclosed machining centers. The TubeTastic! can be easily mounted on the side of virtually any machining center coolant sump. By use of an existing opening or by making a small access cutout, the collector tube runs through the surface of the coolant and collects the unwanted oils. The oil then flows out the discharge tube into any waste oil container for easy disposal.

4. Mighty Mini

The stainless steel Mighty Mini is a compact belt skimmer designed for parts washers and machine tool coolant sumps. With its large discharge trough and small operating space, the Mighty Mini fits almost anywhere. The stainless steel construction resists rust and corrosion in harsh environments. It is lightweight and requires minimal assembly. With its durable stainless steel construction, it is built to give long lasting performance. The removable trough makes cleanup fast and easy.

5. Lil Blue

Lil Blue is the economical solution to remove unwanted oil in coolant sumps and machining centers! Removes one gallon or more of medium weight oil per hour. Use it almost anywhere, even through a 2" diameter bunghole in a drum. Use it here today, there tomorrow. Weighs only 6 pounds, installs in seconds and runs on 110v power. Constructed of tough engineered plastic and includes long life fan-cooled motor.

6. Ultra Mini

The Ultra-Mini is a lightweight, compact belt oil skimmer that can be used with 12v power allowing the skimmer to be wired directly into machining center control panels or plugged into a 110v wall outlet. The simple design means very little maintenance and requires few replacement parts. The cogged belt coupled with the weighted tail pulley prevents the belt from slipping during operation. Its compact design requires very little mounting space.



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Topics: ultra-mini, oil skimmers, tubetastic, mighty mini, disk skimmer, oil boss, Lil Blue

Disk Skimmers Prove to Be a Reliable Tool for All Applications

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 3, 2015 9:38:45 AM

One of the many advantages of Abanaki oil skimmers is that they are built to operate in numerous applications. This advantage comes in handy with some of our customers that own and operate several different industrial operations. Abanaki has had a customer in India for over 10 years. This customer has businesses in paint, lubricant, and some chemical production, as well as real-estate and engineering services. Over the past 10 years this company has utilized and purchased more than 125 Mighty Disk Skimmers!

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Topics: oil skimmers, cnc machine, disk skimmer

Oil Skimmers at AIST

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 4, 2015 6:43:00 AM


Our newly updated Soultions Sourcebook offers 40 real world oil skimming implementations. See how our skimmers work! Click here to get your copy now!
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Topics: oil skimmers, steel industry, grease grabber, steel

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